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Former NSA lawyer says encryption could destroy Apple and Google

We’ve heard government officials make a lot of questionable claims to try to get Apple and Google to not encrypt data on their smartphone platforms. However, this might be the most ridiculous and shameless scare tactic we’ve seen anyone use yet. The Guardian brings us word that former NSA general counsel Stewart Baker is now claiming that Apple and Google shouldn’t encrypt their smartphones’ data because they’ll end up like BlackBerry.

The battle over encryption of consumer internet users’ data has pitched US technology companies against the US government itself, former NSA general counsel Stewart Baker said on Tuesday. Speaking at Web Summit in Dublin, Baker claimed that moves by Google and Apple and others to encrypt user data was more hostile to western intelligence gathering than to surveillance by China or Russia. “The state department has funded some of these tools, such as Tor, which has been used in Arab Spring revolutions or to get past the Chinese firewall, but these crypto wars are mainly being fought between the American government and American companies,” he said, in conversation with Guardian special projects editor James Ball.

 

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